Johnson named head women’s basketball coach

Lauren Richardson, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

Thomas Johnson, formerly the assistant men’s basketball coach, has been named the head coach for the women’s basketball team. The team will be under his leadership starting this fall with the 2017-2018 season. 

Johnson has been coaching basketball for over 30 years, with 21 years of experience at the high school level and 15 years at several division-one colleges. He came to Berry four years ago and has served as assistant coach for the men’s team under Jeff Rogers ever since. 

But this isn’t his first time coaching women. At the beginning of his career, he coached a womens’ team at a small school in Alabama. In a sport where many are quick to point out the differences between men’s and women’s basketball,  Johnson sees the game as something more fundamental.

“When you look at women’s basketball, I think the obvious difference (in comparison to men) is that it is played below the rim,” Johnson said. “But at the end of the day, basketball is basketball. The rim is still ten feet tall, the free-throw line is still 15 feet from the basketball, and that isn’t going to change.”

Over the past few years, with records of 8-18 and 11-15, the women’s basketball team has struggled to produce a truly successful season. But with a new coach comes an expectation for change, starting with a new set of goals and rules to play by.  

“My first goal is to be a team,” Johnson said. “I think that we need to define what success is, because I don’t think the scoreboard always indicates that. Once we assemble our team, we will sit down and establish our team goals.”

Johnson expresses his desire for a first class team both on the court and in the classroom. He hopes to build the program to give the Berry community something to be truly proud of. 

Alongside Johnson will be  Katie Crump. This will be  Crump’s third year serving as the assistant women’s basketball coach for Berry. 

The position for the men’s assistant coach for next season has yet to be announced. 

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